Monday, June 16, 2014

Summa Summa Time!

I haven't really been writing a whole lot, but that's actually a good thing. Writing has always been an outlet for me. I started this blog as a way to help me adjust to moving, and it did its purpose. Not that I am perfectly adjusted, but I have been living life and taking it day by day. I wake up some days and feel really shitty. I miss my family and friends up north. But a lot of days I wake up and am so grateful that I ended up here.

I have lived in Florida for over 9 months now, which is hard to believe. It feels like time is standing still when it's nice out year-round... and I swear I am not saying that to rub the nice weather in your face (although if that will convince you to move here, then yes, yes I am). There is just no extreme seasonal fluctuation to make it feel like the year is passing by. That also means I have been feeling much better, because the less the weather fluctuates, the less my mood fluctuates.

Eric and I have met a ton of really cool people here, so we are finally starting to feel like we have a bit more of a social life. We have awesome coworkers and friends here. Lately, we have been going to the beach, pool, playing games, going out to eat/drink, going to the movies, trying rare beers, and riding mechanical bulls at bars. Wait... what? Let's pretend that didn't happen.

I am completely done with work for the summer. The last day of school was 10 days ago, and the last day of work was this past Friday. IT FEELS SO GOOD. Everyone has been asking me what I am doing for work over the summer. To that, I say NOTHING. At least not this year. One of the benefits of a school schedule is that I get to relax for 2 months, and honestly, I am the kind of person that needs that. Especially right now, when I am trying to figure out the remaining details of our wedding and flying home for 9 days in the middle of July. I may do some babysitting, but I don't think a full-time summer job is a good idea for me right now. If you think I am lazy, you are wrong. People who work in the schools have an incredibly demanding and draining line of work, and it's not something you can just leave at work. Counseling is the kind of job where it's hard to leave things at work anyway, even when you don't work in a school. Having a couple months off to look forward to may have been the only thing that kept me going this past year. I love what I do, but I am really, really bad at practicing self-care.

Speaking of self-care, I had started going to kickboxing, but I destroyed my back a few weeks ago. It was so bad I could barely walk. Remember that mechanical bull I mentioned? Well, after that little incident, I woke up the next morning and felt FINE (although dehydrated...). It popped my back right in to place or something. If you ever have back issues, just go out with your friends and ride a mechanical bull. Way more fun than a chiropractor.

Anyway, I think I am going to try to get in to running again. Loved boxing, but it's a little too expensive right now. Plus, I can get in to a routine of running in the morning now that it's summer. I woke up early and ran on the beach this morning. I did 2 miles and it didn't even feel like it... til afterwards. Running on sand is a bitch. But the breeze was awesome, everyone was happy and waving, and there were a lot of cute dogs to look at!

I am going to try to write a few times a week. It'll force me to get out and do things, so I have interesting stuff to write about. Luckily, I have other school worker and mommy friends who have time off to do things as well :) If they're not around, I guess I'll just sit by the pool or go to the beach... woe is me.


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Awesome Dads

Sometimes, I don't think dads get enough credit. Everyone always talks about how difficult it is to be a mom. Don't get me wrong: it IS difficult to be a mom. A good one, anyway. I don't think I could do it. Like I said on Mother's Day, good moms are superheroes. But so are good dads.

Here, I'll use my dad as an example. This is me and Bill:
On a cruise many moons ago in 2007 for his retirement
Bill has been putting up with my crap for 26 years, just like my mom has. When I was little, I had terrible nightmares. I can not tell you how many times I woke him and my mom up because I was scared someone was going to kill me. My dad was a police officer, and that is literally the only thing that made me feel like I would be okay. One night, I swore I saw Bloody Mary in the mirror in my room. I woke my dad up at 3am and made him take the mirror off my wall and out of my room, and he did it, and then slept on my floor for the night, AND went to work the next day. I'm sure he thought I had serious issues, but he did it anyway (and it was never put back. Screw that, I don't need Blood Mary coming after me).

My dad introduced me to The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, AC/DC, and all good, REAL music. I remember sitting there analyzing song lyrics with him, talking about what the metaphors mean. Listening to music after dinner. Talking about the history of The Beatles. Him sitting there listening to me practice playing the piano, even though I would mess up all the time. Spending tons of money to take the family to see AC/DC... twice.

My dad is responsible for my passion for traditions and culture. He sits there every day before Christmas Eve and does THIS shit for hours:
That's my dad peeling and breading a ton of shrimp. A TON.
He also makes gravy, pasta, and broccoli rabe. He spends hours prepping and cooking this stuff. In recent years, he has let me, my sister, my cousin Chris, and even Eric help with the shrimp. Last year, he even let Chris and I fry the calamari (risky, but it turned out fine!). These traditions will be carried on because he cares enough to take the time to do it EVERY YEAR (sometimes twice, for Christmas Eve in July) and teach us youngins how to keep it going. It is by far the most important day of the year in our family, and he and my Uncle Al are responsible for that.

He let me know that it was okay when I was having a panic attack at home for no reason. He didn't say everything is okay, calm down. He said it was okay that I was having a panic attack and continued to talk to me, which is what helped me calm down (never tell a person having a panic attack to calm down. That's a dick move).

He's an animal lover, even though he denies it. He puts himself in uncomfortable positions so they can chill:
Hey there, Binx and Dad
He introduced my sister and I to Longwood Gardens, which has become one of my favorite places in the world. He made it possible for me to take a music trip to Europe, and pretty much demanded that I go, even though I was terrified to leave. He has taken my family on countless vacations so we could spend time together and see the world. He helped me with math homework when I was failing. He has intelligent political discussions with me, even when we disagree. He wouldn't come pick me up from UD when I was homesick and wanted to leave, because he knew I'd never go back if he did.

He also supported my decision to completely drop everything in life and move to Florida, even though he thought I was crazy for doing it. Oh, and he's throwing me a crazy awesome wedding, for which I will be forever grateful.

My dad has been there for me through everything, even when he thinks I'm crazy. And he kept me safe from Bloody Mary. And he kept us all safe by putting his life on the line to do his job.

So, yes, moms are superheroes. My mom certainly is. But so is my dad. And I wouldn't have such an awesome life if it wasn't for both of them being the best.

Thanks, Bill. You ROCK.